Most Wanted: Media Careers

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Media careers offer glamour-if graduates are willing to put in the work.

Newly released data shows graduates are keen to break into the competitive Media sector, says Using data from registered users over a five year period, the independent job board discovered 17.4% of university leavers want to work in the Media sector.

The findings ranked careers in media as the eighth most popular choice for graduates. One graduate believes the sector's popularity is due to its creative and glamorous aspects.

"When I did my degree I was convinced I wanted to work in the film industry," says Film and Television Production graduate Tom Fludgate. "I thought it was glamorous, exciting and creative-like making films at university."

When Tom finished his studies at the University of Westminster in January 2012, he decided to join IMG's Advantage Scheme, where he focuses on sport.

"For the past four football seasons I've worked on the TV show UEFA Champions League Weekly, a weekly show that covers interviews, news and highlights of the UEFA Champions League," he says.

"We also produce additional content for UEFA such as promos, GFX packages and one off documentaries."

"When the football season isn't on, I'm still a PC at IMG, but I work on a range of seasonal sports events, for example World Cup 2014, Euro 2016, The Open 2013, Caribbean Premier League cricket 2014 and Indian Super League football 2014."

As a Production Coordinator at IMG, Tom has a range of responsibilities and works on the front line of television production. He says the work is varied and can throw him some unexpected duties.

"One of my main roles is production paperwork, this includes music cue sheets, budgets, callsheets, shoot costings, scripts, invoices and purchase orders," he says.

"I'm also responsible for organising shoots for the crews. This includes sourcing cameramen, booking flights, accommodation and travel. I also deal with everything from props to location access-and anything else that is thrown my way."

Although Tom wanted a career in the film industry when he left university, he has found many of the same opportunities in sports broadcasting.

"I liked the idea of new challenges with each project and the potential to travel," he says. "After university, I was accepted on the IMG Advantage Scheme and I saw it as a foot in the door and a year in which I could gain industry experience before moving on."

Tom says graduates going into Media need to be flexible, as fantastic career opportunities are available in areas they may not have considered.

"I toyed with the idea of turning [the IMG Advantage Scheme] down and trying to break the film industry, but I realised that IMG could offer me all of the things I was looking for and that the film industry was actually something I wasn't that bothered about any more," says Tom.

"My current job sees me doing different things daily, it allows me to travel and is in a production environment, which is what I was aiming for from the start."

The Media industry benefits from a well-loved and fashionable reputation. Tom has travelled to the World Cup 2012 in Brazil and worked on Caribbean Premier League Cricket in Jamaica, but is quick to point out the work isn't always so stylish.

"It seems like the pay is great and that it's really glamorous," he says. "I think [Media] has this pretence that whatever you're doing will be watched and adored by millions. The truth is the pay is okay and it's not glamorous at all. I could tell you more about the offices in Rio or Jamaica than the cities."

But it's not all just offices and paperwork, he says.

"The sector can be creative and there are creative aspects to it, which are fantastic-even if you're working on corporate projects."

Graduates who want to work in the Media sector need to be prepared to work their way up. Tom says graduates often enjoy great career progression once they are able land their first position.

"There is a clear progression in a lot of media roles. If you can get in at the bottom, there is a good chance you will progress and be in the industry for a long time," he says.

Tom advises graduates to apply for all kinds of roles to get their foot in the door, and then spend some time exploring their preferences.

"People will be willing to help you-as long as you don't neglect the job at hand and get above your station," he says. "It's a fast way to lose the entry level job you just landed."

Graduates need to be patient when it comes to progression in such a packed and competitive industry, but Tom says they should take their chance when it comes around.

"We cycle through freelancers who are 'flavour of the month'-using the same four or five cameramen or editors until one can't do it. Then we might risk it on someone new. If you make the grade then you're in."

Tom says the Media sector's reputation as a cut-throat industry is unwarranted, and believes graduates can go far if they work hard.

"If graduates make a mistake they won't be sacked or dropped immediately. People understand as they all did [the entry level] job at some point. Just remember there can be money riding on it and the smallest cog can stop the whole machine."

"Don't be afraid to ask questions, better to do that and get it right than to assume and get it wrong. If you concentrate on the task at hand then the doors will open for you."